What are the best Naruto characters?
Starting out as a manga series released in 1997, Naruto has been going strong since, and it shows no signs of dwindling popularity.
With 220 original anime episodes and 500 Naruto Shippuden episodes, there is loads of content for fans both new and old to indulge in, and that’s not even mentioning the episodes of the increasingly successful Boruto anime.
However, with a series this long-lasting, comes a lot of iconic characters that stand out from all others.
While not everyone is going to agree with this list, today we’re taking on the question of just who the best Naruto characters in the series are.
The Best Naruto Characters of All Time
Our ranked lists are created by researching and rounding up information from the most reputable web sources.
Here’s our list of the 25 best Naruto characters:
25. Asuma Sarutobi
Asuma was a Jonin of the Sarutobi clan and a former member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja.
While he is typically very laid back, he is willing to step up when the need arises, and he was an incredibly talented and powerful Jonin.
He could even take down nine Oto-ninja and compete against Hidan without faltering.
Throughout the anime, it was heavily suggested that he was romantically involved with Kurenai Yuhi and, while it wasn’t confirmed until after Asuma’s untimely death, Kurenai was eventually revealed to be pregnant with his child.
24. Iruka Umino
A chunin of Konohagakure, Iruka was an instructor at the Academy before ultimately being promoted to Headmaster.
Having lost his parents to the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox’s attack, he wasn’t keen on having Naruto as his student, seeing as the boy contained the same monster who had attacked his village.
However, he did eventually come around and even protected him from Takigakure spies.
Because of Iruka’s oversight and training, Naruto was prevented from becoming a sociopath like Gaara, and it was rewarding to see Iruka overcome his misplaced anger and learn to embrace his own selflessness and honor.
23. Hinata Hyuga
Hinata is one of the most developed characters in the Naruto franchise and she could easily fit in with the best black-haired anime girls.
After being defended from bullies by Naruto Uzumaki, Hinata was inspired by the boy and wanted to emulate him.
While her kind and soft-spoken personality originally hindered her abilities, she was able to grow stronger after resolving to be more like Naruto.
With him as her main source of motivation, she was able to grow to be incredibly strong and brave, even facing Pain knowing she had no way to win.
She even eventually had her feelings returned and, after marrying Naruto, she gave birth to Himawari and Boruto.
22. Tobirama Senju
A member of the renowned Senju clan, Tobirama is the creator of the infamous Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation technique which forced the souls of the dead into immortal bodies.
He was the swiftest Shinobi and was capable of targeting opponents just by touching the ground, even after being blinded.
Born during the Warring States Period, all Tobirama knew was constant war and this led to him growing to be a very stern and pragmatic man.
For all his power, his most devastating skill was his Water Release skills, which allowed him to cover large areas in water and drown his enemies.
21. Zabuza Momochi
A missing-nin from Kirigakure’s Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, Zabuza was given the name Demon of the Hidden Mist after having killed over 100 Academy students.
Although he was once a charismatic and inspiring man, he ended up becoming very bitter and cynical after his coup against the Fourth Mizukage failed.
This turned him into a corrupt and ruthless hitman for hire.
While he is without a doubt brutal, he isn’t without honor and did have a soft spot for Haku which ended up driving him to sacrifice himself to kill Gato, hoping to rejoin Haku somewhere in the afterlife.
20. Madara Uchiha
The legendary leader of the Uchiha clan, he was the one who founded Konohagakure with his friend and rival Hashirama Senju.
However, while their intention had been to usher in an era of peace, things quickly fell apart when the two failed to agree on how to control the village.
This led to a conflict that cost Madara his life.
However, this was all according to his plan and, after being revived years later, he was even more powerful than before, capable of summoning 25 clones, defending himself against nine-tailed beasts, and killing hundreds using only taijutsu.
While he was able to see the error of his ways and makeup with Hashirama, Madara was a powerhouse in his day and someone that you definitely didn’t want to mess with.
19. Kushina Uzumaki
One of the best red-haired anime girls and the second junchuriki of Nine-Tails, Kushina, was born into the famous Uzumaki clan and she grew up to be renowned for her unique style and beauty.
While pregnant with Naruto, the seal that kept the Nine-Tails inside her body became weak, and moments after Naruto’s birth it was released.
While Kushina selflessly wanted to try sealing it back inside her so it would die with her, her husband, Minato, convinced her to instead seal it in Naruto, believing in the potential of his son.
Both died during the sealing, but Kushina used her last moments to tell her son how much she loved him. Needless to say, there were no dry eyes for fans watching.
Konan was a kunoichi from Amegakure and she fits in easily alongside the best blue-haired anime girls.
Always placing the safety of her teammates over herself, Konan was an intelligent and level-headed woman who complimented her partner, Nagato, very well.
Konan had strong Ninjutsu skills, and her nature transformations included Earth, Water, Wind, and Yang release. She also learned to incorporate her talent for origami into her fighting style, creating the Dance of the Shikigami.
17. Neji Hyuga
Neji was a shinobi of the Hyuga clan and a prodigy in every sense of the word.
However, no matter his skills, he would always be in service to Hyuga’s main house.
While he originally accepted this, after watching Naruto Uzumaki refuse to be limited by this ideology, he began to realize that his fate was only determined by him, and not his house.
As a natural genius, Neji could learn many techniques simply by observing them and, despite being self-taught, he was so skilled that he should have become the successor of the Main Branch.
Although Neji had extraordinary potential, he ultimately ended up sacrificing himself to protect Naruto, the very person who taught him to embrace the freedom to make his own choices.
16. Sasuke Uchiha
The reincarnation of Indra Otsutsuki and one of the last surviving members of the Uchiha clan, Sasuke Uchiha, is the younger brother of Itachi.
After his brother slaughtered their clan, Sasuke was found by Yugao Uzuki, arguably one of the best purple-haired anime girls, and taken away from the carnage.
Seeing his family murdered, Sasuke made it his goal to avenge them by killing Itachi, and to do so he started developing his skills as a ninja alongside friend and rival, Naruto.
However, after learning that his brother’s motives were vastly more complex than they seemed, and were instrumental for ending the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sasuke decides to dedicate his life to protecting his village, eventually becoming known as the Supporting Kage.
Sasuke is one of the most developed characters in both the Naruto manga and Naruto anime series.
His growth and journey have definitely endeared him to fans and made him one of the most well-known characters.
15. Shisui Uchiha
Considered the strongest Uchiha, Shisui was a master of Wind, Lightning, Fire, and Yin Release.
Known as Shisui of the Body Flicker due to his unparalleled Body Flicker Technique, he could easily evade sensor shinobi and prevent them from knowing where he was or where he was going.
His compassion and dedication to his clan were incredibly strong, and he did everything he could to try and stop his clan’s leader from starting a coup that would ignite a civil war.
Shisui was one of those great characters that definitely deserved better and fans still hold him in high regard for both his humble personality and incredible power.
14. Senju Hashirama
Also known as the God of Shinobi and the First Hokage, Hashirama Senju was able to catch not only one nine-tailed beast but eight by himself.
With an incredibly powerful chakra, he was able to resist Impure World Reincarnation, and master ninjutsu, fuinjutsui, Yin and Yang Release, and all of the basic nature transformations.
When he entered Sage Mode, he was even able to use Sage Art Wood Release: True Several Thousand Hands.
Possibly the greatest ninja, he still wasn’t able to kill Madara, his childhood friend from a rival clan, and instead, envisioned a world where children would no longer need to fight.
This led to him and Madra creating Konohagakure, which Madra eventually gave up on, even turning against it and Hashirama.
A descendant of Senju and Uzumaki clan, Tsunade could be considered as one of the best long-haired anime girls, and she is an incredibly strong kunoichi and medical ninja.
However, repeated losses of those she loved caused her to walk away from being a shinobi for many years.
Thankfully, she did eventually return as the Fifth Hokage, where she used her skills to benefit the entire village.
The granddaughter of Hashirama, Tsunade is a powerful ninja and her skills became widely known during the Second Shinobi World War.
She was even powerful enough to fight Madara for over half a day and survive being bisected with the energy to heal others and herself afterward.
12. Might Guy
Might Guy, the hilarious character with the thickest eyebrows, is a deceptively powerful character known for his Strong Fist style.
While he never mastered ninjutsu, he is a master of taijutsu, and without any chakra enhancement, his physical prowess is absolutely astounding, giving him the ability to pull off seemingly superhuman feats.
His strength also has allowed him to use moves like Front Lotus, Daytime Tiger, and Night Guy, which is so fast it can distort space and it almost killed Madara.
11. Obito Uchiha
A member of the Uchiha clan, he was thought to have died in the Third Shinobi War only to be discovered to have been saved and trained by Madara.
Under the name Tobi, he took control of the Akatsuki as a means to try and start the Fourth Shinobi War but ended up having a change of heart, sacrificing himself to save the world as it is, instead of trying to replace it.
Obito is one of the most extraordinarily powerful characters in the Naruto series, especially once he became the Ten-Tails jinchuriki, a form even more powerful than Hashirama.
Even three Hokage couldn’t stand against him and both Naruto and Sasuke were crushed by him repeatedly.
10. Nine-Tailed Demon Fox
The most powerful of all tailed beasts, one hit from its tails can crush mountains and create tsunamis.
The Nine-Tails emerged during the last days of Hagoromo Otsutsuki‘s life when the Sage split the chakra of the Ten-Tailed Beast into monstrous constructs of pure chakra, entities that would later be known as the tailed beasts.
The Nine-Tailed Demon Beast is as sadistic as he is cunning, and he has a deep hatred for the Uchiha clan.
In his human form, he calls himself Kori, and despite never having taken a human form before, he is a surprisingly adept swordsman who can use chakra flow to increase the power of his sword or create projectiles.
9. Rock Lee
A shinobi of the Lee clan, he learned taijutsu from Might Guy, and by the age of 13, his training and conditioning had turned him into a master, with great proficiency in the Strong Fist fighting style.
Like Might Guy, Rock is energetic and wholly optimistic. However, despite being a quintessential nice guy, he is incredibly hard-working, respectful, and driven to succeed.
When Neji laughed at him for wanting to be a powerful ninja without using ninjutsu, Rock made it his mission to prove him wrong, and he definitely did.
Formerly known as Nagato, he took the name Pain after losing his friend Yahiko, who shared his dreams of creating world peace in the violent shinobi world.
However, once he lost Yahiko, he adopted the name Pain and reformed the Akatsuki into a force to bring about peace using any means necessary.
As the leader of the Akatsuki, he is the most powerful member and never lost a single battle until he faced Naruto.
As a descendant of the Uzumaki clan, he had a naturally resilient chakra and could perform several taxing techniques in a single day.
During his training, he was even able to master techniques that were rare for adults, and he became an adept sensor who could locate anyone across vast distances.
With the help of Naruto, he was eventually able to return to his former pacifism, and after his revival, he began to show a much more friendly side that made him increasingly popular with Naruto fans.
Gaara is one of the best characters in the Naruto universe and one that all fans will immediately recognize.
Having been made the jinchuriki of the One-Tailed Shukaku before his birth, the villagers around him feared him to be a monster no matter how much he tried to help them.
Because of this disconnect between himself and the people around him, he grew up isolated and hated the world.
While he spent a good deal of time unbalanced and driven mad by the rejection of those around him, he is eventually pulled from this state after being defeated by Naruto, another jinchuriki like himself.
He then begins to start emulating Naruto, dedicating his energy to serving his village and becoming Suna’s Fifth Kazekage.
As Shukaku’s jinchuriki, Gaara can manipulate sand and create numerous constructs from it.
This ability makes him exceptionally powerful, especially when combined with his ninjutsu.
6. Shikamaru Nara
A shinobi from the Nara clan, Shikamaru appears to be incredibly lazy, but he actually possesses an extraordinary intellect that allows him to prevail easily in combat.
As a member of the Nara clan, he is able to manipulate his own shadow, and his signature move is Shadow Imitation, which he learned even before attending the Academy.
In the Naruto anime, he is also shown to be proficient in fuinjutsu and able to create clones of himself by using his chakra to shape his shadow or by using the Shadow Clone Technique.
One of Konohagahure’s most legendary shinobi, Jiraiya was hailed as the strongest ninja of his generation and through his travels, he wrote down all of his learned knowledge so that it could be passed on to his godson Naturo.
If he was female, he’d definitely be regarded as one of the best white-haired anime girls, and his impressive hair isn’t just for show, as he can grow and manipulate his locks to bind and destroy targets.
As a ninjutsu master, he also became known as the Toad Sage, due to his affiliation with the creatures and his ability to summon them in combat and utilize toad-based skills.
While he could come across as eccentric, he is actually adept at intelligence gathering and has a robust spy network that spans the Five Great Shinobi Countries.
4. Naruto Uzumaki
Of course, we couldn’t leave out the title character, and the Naruto anime wouldn’t exist without its main character.
So far, he is the strongest shinobi in the entire Naruto series and he’s known as the Hero of the Hidden Leaf Village.
Through the series, he has faced a great deal of hardship that has challenged his abilities as a ninja, but he has prevailed thus far, even achieving his dream of becoming the Seventh Hokage.
As the jinchuriki of Kurama, he is insanely powerful due to his access to the Nine-Tails chakra mode, and between his transformations, physical prowess, ninjutsu, and senjutsu, he is one of the few characters capable of defeating absolutely anything that gets in his way.
It’s accurate to say that Naruto has had a huge impact on the anime community as a whole, and by this point, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t at least know his name.
3. Minato Namikaze
The Fourth Hokage and the father of Naruto, we’ve ranked this character above his son for a few important reasons.
He is one of the strongest shinobi to ever exist and he defeated a thousand others on his own.
He was also more than willing to sacrifice himself for his village and his son as a true hero.
In terms of his skills, he was without a doubt a master of so many different techniques it is impossible to name them all.
He excelled in all five basic nature transformations, could summon toads like Jiraiya, and his Flying Thunder God Technique allowed him to teleport himself and anyone or anything — including projectiles and tailed beasts — to wherever he wished.
Minato was much more than just Naruto’s father, he was an extremely powerful and well-rounded character in his own right, which makes him one of the most beloved characters in the Naruto anime.
2. Kakashi Hatake
Famed as the Kakashi of the Sharingan, Kakashi Hatake is one of the most talented individuals in the ninja world, and he eventually became the Sixth Hokage.
While he is undeniably powerful, his skills are so much more than they appear on the surface.
A master of lighting release, his purple electricity can be devastating, and he has learned over one thousand Jutsu.
Even Itachi couldn’t outflank him, and he was able to force Kakuzu and Kisame into a deadlock.
Without him and his leadership, Kaguya wouldn’t have been defeated as it was his Kamui Lighting Cutter that injured her.
In addition to his power, you’ll definitely want to keep the best green-haired anime girls a secret from Kakashi because he’s totally a low-key pervert who uses his mask to hide his nosebleeds from reading the adult novel series Icha Icha.
1. Itachi Uchiha
Having massacred his own clan, leaving only his brother alive, Itachi went on to join the Akatsuki.
While upfront this seems horrible, everything he did he did to safeguard his village.
Unfortunately for his brother, his good intentions and his cooperation with the Third Hokage weren’t revealed until after his death.
Itachi’s character development was some of the best in the Naruto anime and fans couldn’t help but feel bad for the position he was put in, as it was one of the most heartbreaking in the series.
As a ninja, Itachi was a genius who showed skill beyond his years.
He rose rapidly through the ranks, rivaling even Shisui, who at the time was regarded as the strongest Uchiha.
With a naturally strong chakra and master-level skills in taijutsu, ninjutsu, and Bukijutsu, he was a force to be reckoned with, and we wish his story would have had a happier ending.
Naruto characters are some of the most recognizable and beloved in the anime community.
While there are a lot of characters to choose from, these 25 are by far some of the most memorable and unforgettable in the franchise.
Each is incredibly powerful in their own unique ways, and they have all had an impressive impact on the series as a whole.
Here’s a quick recap of the 25 best Naruto characters:
- Itachi Uchiha
- Kakashi Hatake
- Minato Namikaze
- Naruto Uzumaki
- Shikamaru Nara
- Rock Lee
- Nine-tailed Demon Fox
- Obito Uchiha
- Might Guy
- Senju Hashirama
- Shisui Uchiha
- Sasuke Uchiha
- Neji Hyuga
- Kushina Uzumaki
- Madara Uchiha
- Zabuza Momochi
- Tobirama Senju
- Hinata Hyuga
- Iruka Umino
- Asuma Sarutobi
If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other anime lists:
- The 25 Best Bearded Anime Characters
- The 25 Best Bald Anime Characters
- The 25 Best Sci-Fi Anime Movies & Series
- The 25 Strongest Anime Characters
- The 25 Best One Punch Man Characters
- The 25 Best Dragon Ball Z Characters
What’s the best Naruto character, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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